FROM A CORRESPONDENT.
STARTED shearing here on the 2nd inst., with a full board. Plenty of hands of both shearers and rouseabouts. It is surprising how the men turn up at roll call. A couple of days before you would think that there would not be half enough men, but how they do roll up within the last twenty-four hours you would think they had been enclosed in a lyddite shell and thrown right on to the spot. At the start we signed for 60,000 sheep, which only meant a fortnight's shearing, so every- body was preparing for the track, when a day before we had finished the number we had signed for, Mr. J. L. Hill, the manager, who had been away securing country for the sheep, brought the welcome news, informing us that he would endeavor to get in 70,000 or 80,000 wethers, so that will mean another three weeks' shearing at the very least. It is something marvellous how they manage to get the sheep to the shed and have so few losses, as the country is in such a fearful state which they have to traverse. We have a very fast team of shearers here. The highest tally done so far is 180, by E. Searle, the ringer at present. Mr. C. Row is the shed overseer, and seems to pull well together with both employer and employee. Mr. C. Holland is classer, and is kept very busy. Mr. Andy Weatherston is the shearing machine expert, and under his charge the machines seems to be giving better satisfac- tion than last year. Chris Daniels is cooking for the shearers, and is giving every satisfac- tion. Charley Brown is doing likewise for the shed hands, and judging by the look of them they seem happy and well fed.
There has been no sickness here so far, thanks to the manager, who has placed a man to look after the sanitary departments, and clean and disinfect them every day. I don't think there would be so much sickness on other stations at shearing time if some of the managers were to take a leaf out of Mr. Hill's book in respect to sanitary manage- ments.
The School of Arts is going along satisfac- factorily under the able secretaryship of Mr. W. Hobson and his competent staff of assistants. The only difficulty they have to contend with is the news agents, who don't care about supplying papers under an order for three months. However, that difficulty has been overcome, and everything is going along merrily : aud, I might say, it will be a good thing for the pro-Boers, which I am very sorry to say are here in great numbers. They are principally amongst the shed hands, and most of them have been camping on the billabongs for the last three or four mouths, and have never had a chance of seeing any other paper but the Worker, commonly called the "Bagman's Gazette'' amongst them.
Well, we are about to make a fresh start. We expect to cut out in the last week of this month or the first week in May, weather permitting, and other unforseen delays.
The nights and mornings are getting very chilly and very warm throughout the day, and no indication of rain.
Katandra, April 16th, 1900.